2002-03-23 / Columnists

Sprayview Sticks and Stones

By Environmental Reporter Bernard Blum

By Environmental Reporter Bernard Blum

Reincarnation is part of a mystical teaching of several religions. Transmigration of souls- reincarnation of human souls into other species such as pet or farm animals or even flower buds and other vegetation is possible in such a belief system. So imagine your pet dog as uncle Joe or that cauliflower as Aunt Tilly and your consciousness is raised a bit. So you might treat your pet better and if some food item caused indigestion or bouts of regurgitation perhaps memory of a harm done to some relative might come to mind.

Readers should also consider being reincarnated into the industrial production of poultry and hogs and treatment received to satisfy nutrition and profit motives. With the expansion of development into deer and bear country these days, even the Canada geese are staying home on the Long Island range and multiplying. There is the possibility, according to beliefs held sacred, that these animals are reincarnated souls and need consideration, though a nuisance and, in case of bears, potential danger.

When it's remembered that in the greed for land, numerous populations have been in the way of developers from biblical times, and animals have always fought over home ranges, it is a wonder whether there will ever be true peace. The lion lying down with the lamb will never be possible without Divine Intervention.

But, in the here and now, there is a need to live in some sort of harmony with the Creation and adapt to it. So leaving open space for animals and vegetation should not be held as such a burden in any community like Rockaway or any other place. And to quote from the US Fish and Wildlife Service draft publication, "In the tri-state New York City area, urban expansion consumes 36,000 acres of habitat and farmland annually. Approximately 300,000 acres of tidal wetlands and underwater lands have been filled since pre-colonial times and only 20% of the region's former tidal wetland area remains. Of the estimated 224,000 acres of fresh water wetlands that existed in New York City prior to the American Revolution only small areas remain. Most of the upland area has been transformed into urban developed land. Census data from 1990 indicates an average density of 5,915 people per square mile in the New York Metropolitan area (USFWS, 1996)."

So what is so terrible about leaving some urban renewal area land for some of our reincarnated relatives or some of us in future lives? Where will the rabbits and ring-necked pheasants go, as Rockaway is crammed with development? What about open space and esthetic values and coastal ambiance?

The NYC Audubon Society has had a "Beach to Bay" parkland proposal that is still adaptable to the Edgemere section of the renewal area and can be linked to a surfing/aquarium/museum facility.

The Duke Kahanamoku surfing beach entrance dedication is still there at B. 38 St. and even a Matthew Henson State Park dedication is another possible linkage to open space, conservation, and water sports planning. A "Sardine Can Peninsula" has no room for such amenities in coastal assets planning! Say maybe Rockaway's planners are reincarnated sardines? Eureka that is the problem…

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